Saturday, August 31, 2013

Candles In The Darkness

Abraham Lincoln was one gutsy president.  He signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all slaves, even while the Civil War was raging.  He knew slavery was evil and that it needed to end.  We need a president like him today to sign another Emancipation Proclamation that gives all babies in the womb the right to life, freeing them from abortion.

We all know that abortion is evil and needs to end.  With modern technology and sonograms, we can see that it isn't a blob inside a mother's womb but the beginnings of a human life.  This is a tragedy beyond imagination just as slavery was many years ago.  

Since being housebound for awhile, I have been reading books written by Lynn Austin.  I highly recommend her if you enjoy historical fiction written by a Christian author.  I am presently reading Candle In The Darkness.  It is about a young woman living in the south before and during the Civil War.

Her dad owned slaves.  She loved her slaves and knew it was terribly wrong to own another human being.  She was definitely a candle in the darkness, something we are all called to be.

Our society is dark right now but as long as God's Holy Spirit is living in those who call upon His name, there will be candles in this darkness.  We must not be afraid to call evil "evil" wherever we see it and speak up and defend the innocent.  

He has told you, O man, what is good; 
and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, 
and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

***If any of you have authors that you love to read, I sure would love to know!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Tumor Treatment Update

We had our first of three consultations with Radiologist Oncologists.  The first one was at USC since this was where I've had both of my brain surgeries.  He wants to use the Cyber Knife on me.  He said it will kill my pituitary since it shares the same room with my tumor and the treatment will probably harm my vision.  I will need to go on hormone replacement therapy and get stronger glasses.

I will need another MRI, Cat Scan, and then five treatments of the Cyber Knife spaced out every other day.  We still have an appointment in La Jolla and Loma Linda.  Loma Linda uses Proton Therapy  so we will wait until all three appointments to make a decision.

My prayer requests are for protection of my pituitary and optic nerve.  He said there is an 80% chance that the tumor will not reoccur for ten to twenty years, maybe never.  Please God, make it never!  So this is where we are now.  My neurosurgeon would like to see me have treatment within the month.  The proximity of the tumor to the optic nerve is their greatest concern.

Thank you for all your prayers!  God is very good.

Praise the lord, oh my soul, 
and forget not all His benefits.
Who forgives all your iniquities; 
who heals all your diseases.
Psalms 103:3

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Our Children Are Becoming Jaded

Jaded means dulled or satiated by overindulgence.  One woman wrote that while she was absolutely disgusted by Miley Cyrus' performance, her teenage daughter sat there indifferent about the performance and simply remarked, "Quite a cool act."

One man called Dennis Prager's radio program and said he is in Miley's generation.  The problem is the school system.  He said children grow up seeing all kinds of things from their peers that their parents would never allow them to see.  They are being educated in a values free environment which is desensitizing children to evil.

If your children are in the public school system where God has been thrown out, they are being taught to use condoms, and they are being greatly influenced by their peers, be prepared for children walking in the ways of the world.

It is not going to get better.  It is only going to get worse.  If you want your children to be lights in a dark world, choose to follow Jesus, and walk in holiness,  you need to be careful who they spend their days with for "Bad company corrupts good morals." {I Corinthians 15:33}  Do everything in your power to keep your precious children from becoming jaded about this world's evil.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

From Good Girl To Very Bad

Parents are in an uproar over Miley Cyrus' recent performance.  {Any parents who allow their children to watch MTV should expect filth.}  I saw a glimpse of it and was deeply saddened.  We have watched Hannah Montana turn into a sex symbol.  Even Taylor Swift, who use to wear modest, beautiful dresses and sang about sweet love songs, is progressively becoming angrier and sexier.

Why does this happen over and over again?  Even nations founded upon biblical principles, ie, America, continually get worse and worse, allowing all kinds of things that were forbidden just twenty years ago.

Unless your life is deeply entrenched in God's Word, you are fodder for Satan.  The prince of the power of the air is alive and well and loves destroying people.  

The world looks attractive and is continually offering up forbidden fruit:  adultery, sex before marriage, living together, dressing immodestly, overeating, lying, cheating, stealing, etc.  They all look fun and exciting before you take a bite and then afterwards, you discover the apple was poisoned.

God's ways work.  They are for our good.  Continually teach your children God's Word so they won't be enticed by the world's evil ways.  You, as their mother,  should be in the Word daily so you will be able to easily distinguish good from evil and teach your children well.  Most importantly, make sure your daughters know who they are in Christ and their immense value to the God.  

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, 
who put darkness for light and light for darkness, 
who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
Isaiah 5:20

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Children, Sports, And Balance

Almost every single week from six years of age to twenty years old, I had piano lessons.  I practiced faithfully even through college.  I never touch a piano anymore and I haven't for almost thirty years.  I was pretty good at it but I am not musical and it just never was that easy for me.  I tried gymnastics in high school but wasn't very good and didn't like it much.  I became a cheerleader in high school and absolutely loved it.

Alyssa started serious ballet when she was eleven years old.  She became a professional ballet dancer when she grew up and danced with Ballet Magnificat for nine years.

Ryan played baseball, basketball, and soccer.  He played baseball and basketball all through high school.  Now that he is all grown up with a family of his own, he golfs.  He loves to golf and he is very good at it.

Steven also played baseball, basketball, and soccer growing up.  He even played baseball through college.  Now that he is all grown up, he plays softball, basketball, and golfs.  He loves working out and staying active.

Cassi tried ballet for awhile but she wasn't too flexible.  She played basketball and soccer in high school.  She enjoyed both but they were definitely not her passion.  Her favorite thing is to go on long walks with friends or work out classes.

The one thing we would not have done if we did it over was competitive soccer for the boys.  All their friends were doing it so we thought they should.  It was very expensive, they traveled a lot, and there were games on Sundays which I did not like at all.

I think the key to children and extra-curricular activities is to find out what each child enjoys and what they are good at.  If they are musical, let them play an instrument.  If they are athletic, let them find a sport or sports they enjoy.  If they are highly intelligent, maybe they can be in a chess or debate club.

We enjoyed extra-curricular activities.  My children learned to be good losers and good winners.  They learned to work as a team and practice hard.  They learned to be under a tough coach and handle criticism.  They learned that life isn't always fair.

However, balance is important.  You don't want to be running all over the place all the time neglecting family dinners and time at home.  It is a difficult balance especially when they reach school age.  Some parents opt out completely and I don't blame them.  However, our greatest entertainment while our children were growing up was watching our children doing what they enjoyed.

Oh and they all enjoy wakeboarding, snowboarding, surfing {the boys}, bowling, games, etc!  The above picture is Steven having some fun with some friends.

Behold, what I have seen to be good 
and fitting is to eat and drink and 
find enjoyment in all the toil with 
which one toils under the sun 
the few days of his life that God has given him, 
for this is his lot.
Ecclesiastes 5:18

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Slow Death Of A Marriage

They met in college.  They had a whirlwind romance and then married.  They loved traveling together, eating out, going to movies, reading books to each other, hiking, riding bikes, you name it, they just loved being together.

They were blessed with several children.  He started working harder to provide for the family.  She was busy raising her children.  Over the years, she gradually transferred her passion for her husband to her children, who thrived in its light and love.

Sound familiar.  This is the love story of many couples.  When they are married they are husband and wife. One flesh.  Then the product of that love comes along and begins to produce cracks in the relationship.  She begins treating him like his mother instead of his wife.  She gives herself to her children and forgets about him.

Those cracks get wider and wider.  They argue more.  He feels neglected.  They try going to marriage counselors.  The marriage counselors tell them to go on one date a week and how to argue better.  They try that but the relationship doesn't get better.  Did the husband ever notice when his wife's passion for him transferred to the children?

I doubt it.  I don't think most men actually know what is happening.  They just know they are no longer feeling loved by their wives.  They know she is busy taking care of the children, but still, he feels lonely. They eventually get divorced hoping the grass is greener somewhere else.

Don't let your  love story end like this couple's.  Learn from them.  When your children come along, make sure you continue loving and serving your husband.  You were created to be his help meet and he needs you, even after the children are born.

She that is married cares for the things of the world, 
how she may please her husband.
I Corinthians 7:34

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

There are very few husbands that are truly amazing.  They adore their wives and do everything they can to make them happy.  They are romantic and tell their wives they are beautiful at least once a week.  They listen carefully when their wives want to talk and hold them tightly when they cry.  They frequently buy them flowers and gifts.

However, there are a lot of men that are not like that.  They do not live up to the expectations their wives set.  They watch too much television or play too many sports.  They don't say romantic things to their wives and they are not as attentive to them when they talk as they should be.

Wives who are married to these types of men get discouraged.  They may find themselves telling a close friend,  "My husband just isn't fulfilling me.  I feel empty."  "My husband will never make me happy."

As an older woman, I want to encourage you who say things like this about your husbands to stop.  It may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  The words we speak out loud have a huge influence upon us.   Begin speaking truth to yourself instead, "My husband is perfect for me and I love him so very much."  "I am going to be the best wife possible to my husband no matter what!"

You have no ability to change your husband into the man you want him to be.  Yes, you can express your desires a few times and then give them to the Lord.  Don't put your expectations upon your husband's back.  You knew what you were getting when you married him, now accept him just the way that he is and be thankful.

We are only to speak uplifting words of encouragement of praise.  Telling others the faults of your husband only hurts your marriage.  If they are sinful things, tell them to a trusted mentor and get godly advice from her but protect your husband's integrity and your marriage.

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, 
but only such a word as is good for edification 
according to the need of the moment, 
so that it will give grace to those who hear.
Ephesians 4:9

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Are You A Radical Homemaker?

Radical Homemakers live a life where significantly less money is earned, and basic necessities are produced or otherwise procured.  Packages from the mall, plastic-wrapped food, designer labels and television sets are seldom seen inside these households.  Rather, they are filled with books, simmering pots, some dirty dishes, musical instruments, seedlings, wood shavings, maybe some hammers or drills, sewing machines, knitting baskets, canned peaches and tomato sauce, jars of sauerkraut, freezers with hunted or locally raised meat, and potted herbs.  

Outside the door there are no multiple new cars or manicured lawns.  Whether in the country or the city, one is likely to find a garden plot or potted tomatoes, fruit trees, bicycles, probably a used car, shovels, spades, compost bins, chicken, maybe a wandering goat or some other livestock, and laundry blowing in the breeze.  These people are producing their life, not buying it. 

The more homemakers are able to do for themselves ~ whether it be cooking, preserving or growing food, mending clothing or purchasing it used, fixing cars and appliances to avoid replacing them, cleaning with vinegar and water rather than toxic chemicals, or making rather than buying gifts and toys ~ the less time they exchange for money, the fewer natural resources they require from the planet, and the less they rely upon the global extractive economy. {Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes}

So, are you a radical homemaker?  Remember the phrase "barefoot and pregnant"?  That is all I dreamed about being when I grew up.  There is nothing more beautiful to me than a mother at home tending to her family.   Our society has done everything it can to take mothers out of the home and away from their children, beginning with day care, being in public school many hours a day, careers for mothers, malls, restaurants, etc.  Don't let society suck you into its ways but head in the opposite direction, the one that God intends for us.

My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, 
in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.
Isaiah 32:18

Friday, August 23, 2013

Why Don't They Teach This In Sex Education???

In the public schools, they teach in order to prevent STDs you should use condoms.  They make a quick reference to abstinence but don't think most will abstain.  They are teaching lies.  If you give children powerful reasons to abstain and that condoms don't protect against STDs, they just might listen.

I have been reading The 30-Day Love Detox by Dr. Wendy Walsh. She is a single mother raising two children.  She has seen the devastation the hookup culture has been to women.  She makes a powerful case for abstinence.  Here are some of her quotes ~

As the hook-up culture has burgeoned, female mental health problems have, too.  In the past 15 years, depression rates in women have doubled and female suicide has tripled.

Healthy relationships aren't only beneficial to women.  Men benefit too, Long-term couples live longer,  have better health, and accumulate more wealth.

In our anxiety to attach or avoid attachment, we're running around using dating and sex as a drug.  At a loss to identify what true feminine sexual freedom really means, many women have adopted a male model of sexuality.

One sexuality researcher I spoke with apologized for sounding conservative when he told me that separating babies from sex and sex from marriage has made men a whole lot happier than women.

Your more adventurous girlfriends are spoiling your future boyfriend with frisky texts, e-mailed naked photos, and free sex.

Most women are living with the fantasy that they can behave exactly like men in their twenties and then sometime in their thirties, when they're ready they'll find a comfy, stable dude to settle down with who'll be a big provider.  They think this while they re training men to do the exact opposite.

One of the most dangerous places in America today is living in a home with a nonbiologically related male.

Why would women join a hookup culture that's dangerous for their mental and physical health and their reproductive success?

Dressing overly sexy and having sex too soon thwarts the chances for real love.

Marriage may not be for everyone, but at this turning point in our culture, it's still one of the best choices a woman can make for her health and for her offspring.  Please be assure, my advice doesn't come from a place of faith-based beliefs or politically "conservative values."  It comes from sound sociological research.

God's principles are timeless!  Even though she claims to not be a Christian or even believe in God, what she has found lines up perfectly with the Bible. Remain a virgin until married.  Marry a good man that will provide for his family and be faithful.  This is the recipe for a long and stable life for you and your children.

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Hebrews 13:8

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Making It On One Income

Many of you would love to be stay-at-home mothers but don't feel you can afford it.  I asked my Facebook friends what they do in order to be able to stay home.  I received many wonderful tips so I thought I would make a post of some of them to encourage you who would eventually love to be home full time.

Cathy ~  Use coupons, shop at second hand stores, and shop wisely with sale ads and price match.

Brittany ~ Make food from scratch.  Make homemade laundry soap and hand soap.  Breastfeed, use cloth diapers, buy clothes used or ask for them as gifts.

Cristina ~ Being on a budget helped tremendously.  Dave Ramsey is an excellent financial expert.  He opened our eyes to so many financial mistakes most Americans make. We are careful with not buying the "must have" new gadgets, toys, cars, etc.  We never buy brand new cars, never go on vacation unless it's already paid for, eat out wisely, frugal with personal luxuries, and we aren't quick to buy each kid everything their heart's desire.

Amy ~ Meal plan, shop every 2 weeks buying whole foods in bulk, stick to the shopping list, cook from scratch, make all cleaning supplies, hand soap, laundry detergent, make a budget and stick to it, buy the "clean dozen" produce as much as possible, buy organic in bulk, eat out less, drink water, shop consignment sales for clothing, no cable, use natural lighting, sell unused items on craigslist or if I spot something on the curb, grab it and sell on craigslist, use cloth wipes with homemade spray, breastfed my children for the first year or so, go to parks and play outside, for gifts ask for clothing or money towards an annual pass for the family, invested in clippers and cut husband and son's hair, trim daughter's hair when needed, limit shower times, give kids bath together when needed or every other night, make homemade dog shampoo, use washcloths to clean surfaces instead of paper products, use cloth napkins as much as possible, simplify.

Jennifer ~ No cable, and only buy what we can afford with cash.

Jessica ~ Work from home.

Alethea ~ I own a daycare.

Cristina ~ My city has an online moms' marketplace where we buy and sell a variety of things at yard sale prices.  From clothing for the kids, to home decor, kitchen items, electronics, books, toys, shoes, homeschool materials, anything that can sell.  I love it!  It's a good way to interact with other moms and the group has privacy settings, so you'll always feel safer.  The quality of the items is excellent and the value is great.  Many times I end up getting what I need for the kids and the home for free.  Sell the things I don't need and buy the ones I do need at the same price.

Carmen ~ 1 car, 1 cellphone and no cable and less vacation and a meal plan.

Becky ~  I do everything listed here and I will add that we don't have cable but do have Netflix and Hulu.  I pressure can our produce from our garden along with soups and sauces I make but I still have to work outside the home.  I don't think that we could live on my husband's salary alone.  Kudos to those who can.

Gently Led
 ~ For me, the most important change for making it on one income was mental. When I quit practicing law, I kept finding a quote that the path of Christianity is one of "downward mobility." Trusting that there is greater peace, joy, and fullness of life with less money/stuff/conveniences was key for me. Also, I personally don't make my own laundry soap, can, thrift, etc. That is WONDERFUL for those who do, but tips like that would've scared me off the one-income idea. I say this just in case someone is reading this thinking, "Obviously we can't live on one income b/c I can't do all of that!" Those of us brought up to be career women have a hard enough time with the transition! But there are lots of ways to save money that don't require Mom to be a domestic creative genius. We eat out pretty infrequently, drive older, long-paid-off cars, no cable or up-to-date electronics, "vacation" only by visiting family, etc. I miss nothing that I used to spend money on, and find family life so much richer than financial wealth!

If any of you have anything to add, that would be great.  I can make another post with new ideas.  If you have homemade recipes that you absolutely love, write them in the comment section also.  If your heartfelt desire is to stay home and raise your own babies, there is a way.  It may take sacrifice but it will be well worth it.

For which of you, intending to build a tower, 
does not sit down first and count the cost, 
whether he has enough to finish it—lest, 
after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, 
all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 
'This man began to build and was not able to finish'?"
Luke 14:28-30

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Not Holding It Over His Head

There are many responses you can give to a husband who is involved in pornography.  You can give him ultimatums.  You can be angry and yell at him.  You can give him the silent treatment.  You may even divorce him.  However, I want to give you the response Melissa from A Heavenly Journey gives to her husband ~

I’m going to share a promise I made to my husband that totally turned a situation {relatively minor, but it was still hard and he really really struggled with it} completely around: “I will always forgive you, and I will never hold it over your head.”

Now before anyone goes telling me I’m a doormat and letting him just get away with everything let me explain. Whenever my husband’s issue came up it brought along crushing guilt and shame for him. If I wanted to help him, I needed to not contribute to it. So by making that promise I took a heavy burden off his shoulders and whaddya know, it became easier for him to deal with his issue. He felt enough shame and guilt. He didn’t need it from me too. Did I still get angry and feel hurt? Absolutely. I’m human. And he knows it. But I kept my promise.

Allow me to share one more thing. Something our pastor said during a sermon that really stuck with both of us. “Are you going to make decisions out of fear or faith?” He was talking about parenting but it applies to EVERYTHING. I get that you’re worried and afraid and I don’t blame you. But when it gets to the point that it’s consuming you like it is, it’s time to take a step back. God is bigger than all the fears. Are you going to let the fear drive you, or are you going to turn to faith?

Everything in our life boils down to faith.  Do we really trust God with our life and with others?  Do we trust Him to change others or do we feel the need to do it ourselves?  He commands that we forgive others 70 times seven times.  Does this even apply to our husbands?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And lean not unto your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
A He shall direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:5,6

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Can A Wife Help Keep A Husband From Cheating?

Many wives suffer the devastation of their husbands' having an affair.  Some men are like Judas, just plain evil.  These men will have affairs whether or not their wives are amazing wives.  Most men, however, are like Peter, they make mistakes.  Now granted, having an affair is a big, ugly mistake but can wives somehow do something to prevent affairs?

From what I have experienced, many husbands are neglected once their wives have babies.  Their babies are everything to the mothers.  Being a mother takes precedence over being a wife.  When their husbands come home, they are so tired from caring for children, they just want to be left alone.

Men are seldom driven to a mistress because of sex passions. It's usually her ability to fill an emotional need, making him feel appreciated and important.  Men's greatest need is to be respected and if they are not getting it at home, the temptation to get it out of the home will be great.

Yes, a man is wrong to have an affair no matter how neglected he feels.  When he stands before God and has to give account for his actions, he will not be able to blame his wife for any of his sins.  However, I prefer to think that there are things I can do to help prevent an affair.  I think this gives wives power to think they can help keep their husbands happy at home.

If he has a joyful, fun, gentle, submissive wife who loves pleasing him and giving him sex, I doubt many men would jeopardize this relationship with an affair.  Even if you have a strong believer for a Christian, you should never take that for granted and treat him however you want, thinking he will remain faithful to you.

Cristina commented on my facebook page when I posed this question to my readers.  She wrote, "Well, it's kind of like food.  If a man is well nourished body, soul, and spirit, he usually has no reason to seek someone else.  If he does, despite being well cared for, then its entirely his blame and sin.  But if he is not well nourished, then he becomes vulnerable and it takes an extremely disciplined, enduring, and God fearing man to do what's right and resist temptation."

Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, 
so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, 
and come together again so that Satan 
will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
I Corinthians 7:5

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Myth Of Needing Two Incomes

Happy Mama commented on one of my recent posts.  I thought it was so beautifully written that I would make it into a post.  I will let her words minister to you ~

Just commenting on some of the comments...It is sad to me that some people think that having two incomes is a necessity. You may need two incomes to keep up your current lifestyle, but you don't need two incomes. You just have to learn to live within your means, which may mean getting rid of a second car, living in an apartment not a house, learning to cook simple meals, buying second hand-only things that are really needed. 

My husband is disabled and we live on his disability income. It is extremely financially tight, but I would never leave my role as a homemaker for more money. I have found ways to help us earn a few extra dollars {selling things online} that has blessed my family without leaving my role as homemaker {the Proverbs 31 woman made money through her extra work at her home}. I completely accept we will always live in an apartment, we will always live humbly. But nothing is more important than caring for my home and family. 

A simple humble life with my loved ones is better than any big paycheck. People are what make life great, not things. As long as your husband has an income, however small, you can live off it. Nothing is more precious to me than raising my children and caring for my family. 

After reading Money Saving Secrets of the Amish,  I was really inspired by even the things I think of as necessities. The Amish were asked if they could spend extra money on some luxuries what they would buy. One of the Amish mentioned a salad dressing they really liked, but was only a special treat. One of the ladies mentioned Ritz crackers. Even many food items aren't necessities {I have always thought all food counts as necessities}, but really if you look at how people who live the most humble eat ~ much of even the food bought and sold in America are luxuries. I was greatly encouraged to think more simply after reading this wonderful book, and it really made me think about what are true needs vs. wants, even with regards to food. Just wanted to share that too. 

We need to get back to being unmaterialistic and living simply so we have time to enjoy the things in life that really make us rich!

She rises also while it is yet night, 
and gives food to her household.
Proverbs 31:15
picture source

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Will You Take This Challenging Pledge?

A late Bible teacher named Russell Kelfer wrote the following challenge for people who wanted to learn to be grateful in this life and recommit to it on a regular basis.  It is so easy to not be thankful, but instead complain and be unhappy since this life gives us so many trials.  I have written out the whole challenge in case any of you want to go from being unthankful to thankful!

Having been born into the kingdom of God, I do hereby acknowledge that God's purchase of my life included all the rights and control of that life for all eternity.

I do further acknowledge that He has not guaranteed me to be free from pain or to have success or prosperity.  He has not guaranteed me perfect health.  He has not guaranteed me perfect parents.  He has not guaranteed me perfect children.  He has not guaranteed me the absence of pressures, trials, misunderstandings, or persecution.

What He has promised me is eternal life.  What He has promised me is abundant life.  What He has promised me is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness  meekness, and self-control. He has given me all of Himself in exchange for the rights to my life.

Therefore I acknowledge this day the relinquishment of all my rights and expectations, and humbly ask Him by His grace to replace these with a grateful spirit, for whatever in His wisdom He deems to allow for my life.

Maybe print this out and hang it somewhere where you will see it often and be reminded what life is all about so you can keep your life in line with God's purposes for you.

Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father 
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:20 

Hear It On Sunday

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Dark Cloud Of Hopelessness

When the doctor delivered the news to us on Tuesday, it was probably the most hopeless I have ever felt in my life.  I am generally an optimistic person and have hope for the future.  I didn't feel that way on Tuesday.

A dark cloud of hopelessness seemed to have descended over my life.  I cried a lot in fear of the future.  Last night as I was in bed, I felt that cloud descending again, so out loud I just sang ~

It's a happy day and I praise God for the weather.
It's a happy day and I am living it for my Lord.
It's a happy day and things are going to get better.
Living each day by the promises in God's Word!

Then I started reciting all of God's many promises to me.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.  Be anxious for nothing...And I began to feel His peace descending upon me instead.

Your many comments and encouraging words the past few days have definitely lifted my spirit.  My best friend, Sandy, spent the day with me on Thursday encouraging me.  My dad comes over every day, massages my feet and encourages me, my wonderful husband encourages me, and the Lord sustains me.

I know many of you have gone through difficult trials.  Life is full of trials.  Our life isn't about fun, experiences, etc. but about our witness, being lights in a very dark world.  God has chosen this path for me so I must choose to use it for His glory.

None of us get to choose when we will die, but we all get to choose how we will live.  Live each day for God's glory, love those around you, and thank Him for whom all blessings flow.

Friday, August 16, 2013

My Tumor Is Not Gone

We traveled up to USC for my post-op MRI on Tuesday.  Unfortunately, my tumor is still there.  It is about half the size that it was before surgery so we don't know if the surgeon only cut out half or it grew back quickly.  We think the surgeon only cut out half.

My tumor from nine years ago just fell out so the surgeon did not have to try and cut anything away.  This time the tumor is still classified as a grade one, slow growing tumor but it didn't just fall out.  In the ICU, my surgeon came to me and told me he got out what he felt he could comfortably remove.  He wanted me to be able to sit up and talk to him and not disable me in any way.

The tumor is located in a very delicate area called the sella turcica, the small boney socket behind the bridge of the nose that normally houses a dangling pituitary, the master hormone control gland at the base of the brain. The tumor is covering the carotid artery, smushing my pituitary, and just below my optic nerve.  The surgeon couldn't dig around these areas without potentially killing me or debilitating me for life. The tumor is made up of diseased dura cells that have infiltrated the healthy dura cells and you can't differentiate the tumor cells from the healthy cells with the naked eye.  

Obviously this was very devastating news to us.  We go back in a week to see a radiologist oncologist to see about radiation.  This isn't a cancerous tumor but a meningioma in a very hard to get to area.  I am a rare case with very few documented meningiomas growing up out of the base of the sella pituitary region.

Our next course of action looks like it will be radiation which will most likely kill my pituitary and may make my vision worse the doctor told us.  I will keep you posted on what happens next.  In the meantime, I am going to continue running this blog as much as I can.  I have heard with radiation, one is just tired.  This blog is a good distraction for me and I love writing when I am up to it.

Continue to email me problems and asking me for advice.  I will answer when I am up to it.  I would appreciate prayers for wisdom as we search out the best therapy, for my gut and sinus infection and headaches to be healed {all the result from brain surgery}, and peace and strength from the Lord.

It is definitely a scary time for us but we continue to place our faith and hope in the Lord.  He is carrying me right now.  He has been faithful in the past, and I know He will continue to be faithful and give me His strength.  For when I am weak, He is strong.

Much love to all of my faithful and supportive readers,

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God,   the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint,   and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary,and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;   they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary;   they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:28-31

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The School Of Porn

Many men today, even Christian men, are attending the School Of Porn.  This school teaches men that a real body isn't good enough.  It teaches that one body isn't good enough.  It teaches them that their wife's {or future wife's} body isn't good enough.

Real women can't compete with these images.  These images cause men to view women as a commodity.  Pornography has been found to act like a drug that deadens a man's desire for real women.

Single men, the greatest thing you can do for a great romantic relationship down the road with your wife is to quickly check out of this school. This school sets you up for extraordinary disappointment.    Begin renewing your mind with God's Truth.  Be in His Word daily.  Give other guys your passwords to all your internet access and have them hold you accountable.  Walk in integrity and holiness.

Ken and I have personally seen the destruction that pornography can have on young couples.  Young men aren't interested in sex with their wives.  They find sex boring.  It is devastating on a marriage.  Teach your sons to flee all forms of sexual immorality when they are young and continually teach them God's Word so they will be able to put on the full armor of God daily to fight this beast.

Society teaches men that it is not their nature to be monogamous for life.  God tells them they can be.  Who do you believe? Do everything you can to prevent your sons from checking into the School Of Porn.  You will save them and many others much heartache.

Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. 
Instead, pursue righteous living, 
faithfulness, love, and peace. 
Enjoy the companionship of those 
who call on the Lord with pure hearts.
II Timothy 2:22

***A lot of the content of this post was from a sermon I listened to by Andy Stanley.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Why Do Men Tend To Be More Skeptical?

Cassi was very excited one morning.  She was at her cousin Ali's home one night.  Ali and her mom, Alisa, my sister, took a very extensive health course and learned so much.  They learned that your pulse will rise by five or more points if you eat something your body is allergic to. 

Your body will release histamines in response to the allergen and cause your pulse to rise.  You take your pulse.  Then you take a mouthful of the food you want to test.  Take your pulse and if it goes up five or more points you are allergic it. 

Stay off it for awhile allowing your gut to heal and then test it again.  So Cassi was trying all these different foods to see if she had any allergic reactions to any of them. Ken came down and asked what was going on.  He laughed. 

Cassi said, "You are always so skeptical."  I told her it is in a man's nature to be skeptical.  Most cults have been started by women.  Fortune tellers, palm readers, astrologists, etc. are mostly all women. 

The Bible even said that the woman is more easily deceived than the man. Shortly afterwards, Steven came into the room and asked what was going on.  He laughed also and I told him he had the typical male reaction.  This is a good thing. 

Men should be more skeptical.  We women fall for things a little too easily.  This method of figuring out if you are allergic to something may very well be a good thing but I thought it proved the Bible's point so well.  Cassi and I were immediately gun-ho on it and Ken and Steven were not.  They wanted a bit more proof before they believed it. 

This is why God wants men to be in charge of marriages and churches.  He is God.  He made us and knows us better than we know ourselves.  We can trust Him.

Adam was not deceived but the woman 
being deceived was in transgression.
I Timothy 2:14

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What Is Your View On Chores?

Many years ago, I read something about Mrs. John R. Rice {the wife of an evangelist and mother of six children}.  She talked about her children having meaningful work in the home.  She said chores taught them important lessons.  {Mrs. White}

Jane from Canada recently emailed me a question.  I would love to get your opinions on this topic.  We didn't give our children too many chores.  It is the one thing I regret in raising them but I was fairly sick the whole time I was raising them so I was just trying to get through each day.  Here is Jane's email ~

I am a SAHM that babysits in the home quite a bit, and I am actually appalled at the fact that I don't know ANY children {except my own} that are expected to do chores.  Well, maybe they clean up their own toys, but do not contribute to the household chores in any way.  

I make the children I babysit help me around the house, and they are very capable of unloading my dishwasher, wiping off the tables, vacuuming, sweeping, etc. once I have taken the time to teach them how. They have no clue how before I teach them.  I tell their parents that they are wonderful helpers, but the parents still do not make them do one thing at home.  It's amazing how little kids are waited on by adults these days.  

I really try not to care what other people do, but I wonder what is going to happen to a society raising children that expect to be waited on like servants by their adults. I waited on my grandparents quite a bit when I was little and it is a happy memory now. I look back on it as an opportunity, and the fact that every child in our extended family was expected to do it {I was raised in the 1970s}, I think made me accept reality more.  

I feel it actually makes it harder for me to make my child do chores because she absolutely never sees other children being asked to do things.  If we were raising her in an Amish community and she saw other children running around doing chores, would it normalize it? I am wondering if it is a cultural or geographical thing -- I live in an aggressively secular part of the Pacific Northwest in Canada.  I don't want to ask friends why they don't ask this of their children, as it would just put them on the defensive.

I admit that while chores are very important to our family values, we still struggle with them with our own daughter, who is five and an only child.  We are ultra consistent -- she must do the same chores everyday.  We never let it slide, even when we don't feel like arguing or when it is easier to do it ourselves.  

I was a Kindergarten teacher, and consistency worked like a charm in my classroom.  However, in my household, my child still needs frequent reminding and numerous requests.  Taking away toys has little effect.  We do spank, but are finding we do it less frequently as she gets older. When she needs to be asked repeatedly to set the table, for example,  I am very tempted to have her skip a meal to help her understand that when we don't work, we don't eat.  Is that too severe?     

I feel like both myself and my husband serve as role models to my daughter about hard work. He is an extremely hard worker.  I keep up with my housework, cook from scratch, etc, all of which my daughter witnesses being home with me all day, but my daughter still resists helping and never offers naturally.   

I am wondering how to get to the point where she does her chores without being reminded.  I am hesitant to do a reward chart, because I don't want to reward her for doing what must be done.  I guess I could do visual reminders, pictures since she doesn't read yet.

Any suggestions about what works for all of you would be greatly appreciated.

Train up a child in the way he should go: 
and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6